The Hook: A Comeback Story (Or Something Like It)

 Photographer:  Richard Sanders

Photographer: Richard Sanders

This is the beginning.

In 2016, we started our site in a dimly lit bedroom on the corner of Locust & 15th in a basement apartment. Since then, we have grown exponentially and without limit. We could not be more appreciative of the music scene, not only here in Philadelphia, but the entire East Coast. We would not be who we are without the bands & artists that fuel us further, push us harder than what we believed.

In the two years since our beginning, we have hosted dozens of showcases, reviewed hundreds of albums, and put our stickers on lots of stop signs in different places around the country. We have been supported by volunteer writers, photographers and artists. We have paid every artist who has worked with us, and donated more than three-hundred dollars to different Philadelphia non-profit organizations. Without our scenes, near and far, we would not be where we are.

So, here we are. Two and a half years later, and we’re ready to get started. We will continue to host shows, to create charity EP’s to donate to important non-profit organizations, we will continue to review and talk about local music. We hope to begin to give voices to those who don’t always have them in our scene, we want to create critical op-ed pieces to, not only fuel and better our scene, but to also better ourselves as people in a world. It’s time to talk about it, so we will. We welcome guest writers, bloggers, and artists to host their work on our site. We welcome those who are in need of a safe space, of suggestions for shows, albums, groups that will allow every body in our scene the place it deserves.

If you're interested in learning more about us, we've got a handy video now, so check it out below!

To begin, we have our first returning showcase on July 13th at our place, so if you’ve never been to a Hook Show, this would be the one to get to. We will be hosting a show on July 17th at Century Bar, and future shows will soon be announced. We are in the works for a 5th Charity EP, featuring all unheard, local music for a good cause.

As always, you can check out our social media down below to keep up while you're on the move. More announcements to follow, so stay tuned!

The Hook Journal: Facebook // Twitter // Instagram

"Didn't Ask For A Dime" From Goodnight/Goodluck Out Now

Philadelphia's own Goodnight/Goodluck are celebrating the second release off their upcoming EP - missing, is expected out on May 12th. In the meantime, fans can enjoy and appreciate their latest release off of the EP, "Didn't Ask For A Dime."

A self-recorded four-track demo was released in April 2017, and picked up the very next day and favorably reviewed by WXPN's The Key. Buoyed by the positive reception and a string of well-received live performances, the band recorded their debut EP the following winter with Joe Reinhart (Hop Along/Algernon Cadwallader) at The Headroom in Philadelphia. goodnight/goodluck is Sarah Puleo, Eric Zrinsky, Ed Taylor, Jayson Verdibello, and Alex Brown, together they create a sound that is electric, fun and feel good.

Check out the track streaming below!

The track is a folksy, easy going and mixes an interesting set of voices and sounds together to create a catchy fusion. missing is being released on May 12th - the release show is at Boot & Saddle with openers Secret Americans and WAX WAV. With "Didn't Ask For A Dime" boasting itself over a month in advance for listeners, goodnight/goodluck have given fans and listeners plenty of time to hype themselves up for the release!

We sure as heck couldn't be more excited to see, and hear, what is to come. Check out their social media down below to follow goodnight/goodluck on their journey!

Goodnight/Goodluck: Spotify // Facebook // Instagram // Bandcamp

Exclusive Premiere: War Twins Share New Single "American Kids"

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LA Natives and iconic two piece War Twins are up to bat with their fiery new single, "American Kids." After touring non-stop and calling their van home for the last 5 years, the duo partnered with the famously innovative producer, Sylvia Massy (Tom Petty, Prince, Red Hot Chili Peppers),  Massy was able to capture and accentuate the combination of raw emotion and radiant energy of several of War Twins songs in a quick week of recording.

We've got this hot new single streaming below via Spotify!

After having spent the last few weeks touring the Northeast, including our home city of Philadelphia just yesterday, War Twins should be celebrating this release by relaxing and enjoying their hard work!

Definitely check out the single streaming on Spotify, and checkout War Twins social media down below to keep up with everything they've got going on!

War Twins: Website // Facebook // Instagram // Twitter

John Whip's 'Electric Love' Debuts Today

  Photographer: Steph Defeo @solidstares

Photographer: Steph Defeo @solidstares

Philadelphia local, John Whip, is celebrating today with the premiere of his latest single, and greatest effort, "Electric Love." The jazz infused-pop single is one listeners can easily fall in love with, and Whip creates an intimate scene for you to get lost in.

Whip is an impressive force, but the singer did have help putting "Electric Love" together, of course. With the help of his regular band as well as some outsourcing, "Electric Love" includes John Whip (keys, vocals, production), Sam Carlen -(guitars, bass, additional keys), Craig Hamilton - drums & percussion), Ilya Setrakian - (keys for Electric Love), and Henry Tirfe - (tenor sax for Electric Love).

Between Whip's smooth voice and tender lyricism, his band also follows suit in a defined, crisp manner to make this track a true delight and experience to listen to. We've got the exclusive premiere of the track, streaming here on The Hook only!

Check it out below!

Whip describes how "Electric Love" came to fruition for us, "I wrote this song after accidentally falling in love with someone.  The way we all do when someone just says the right thing or smiles at you the perfect way.  They way that maybe we all think we shouldn’t because there are so many options and reasons to be alone. I knew I didn’t want it to be a jazz song though as that would limit my possibilities in a commercial world, but I knew that if I sung it a certain way and packaged the song a certain way, it could be pop - but still a different kind of pop.

I've just fallen in love with a lot of guys and wanted to explore what that means and who that makes me in the world we live in.  

I just wanted people to relate to that other side of hookup culture that we don’t sing about. The part when we catch feelings / usually the worst part because feelings aren't always reciprocated ya know?"

Of course we relate to that, and "Electric Love" is the perfect song to put on while getting over those post hookup blues. John Whip should have lots more to give us if this is what he's already putting out - polished, professional work.

To keep up to date with John and what he has coming out, check out his social media down below to never miss an update!

John Whip: Facebook // Soundcloud

Readership Shares New Single With Listeners

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Having just been released last Friday, Readership have lots of fun up their sleeves! "Pet Ghost" is the band's latest track, a fun mix of power pop and 80's/90's vibes. 

Before their beginning in 2012, Adrian Morse and Matt Lee started performing together in various Philadelphia bands after Matt inexplicably responded to Adrian's internet ad seeking a female collaborator to write coffee shop folk music. West Chester, PA-based musician Gregory Matthew joined with Adrian and Matt in 2014, having spent most of his formative years drag racing cars and baking many delicious cookies.

The band released their debut LP New Ways to Make the Same Mistakes in 2016. Since the release of that record, the band added a full-time bass player in Gabe McCall.

Check out "Pet Ghost" streaming below!

We've got Readership's social media down below to check out if you feel like keeping up with what they're up to? Check out the single streaming above, and as always thanks for reading!

Leadership: Website // Facebook // Instagram

The Trust Fund Kids Share New Lyric Video Ahead of LP

While the hype up fans and listeners for an forthcoming debut LP, The Trust Fund Kids have teased everyone with a brand new lyric video for their title track, "Waiting On You." With a music video in the works, the lyric video will have to hold fans over while the band prepares to debut their first full length.

You can check out the lyric video down below!

The track hits hard with a stellar guitar intro, and rough around the edges indie vibes. The Trust Fund Kids put out some heat that fans & listeners should be into, and more importantly should make you want to buy the album when it comes out. We're just hoping that when it does come to fruition it is just more of this.

In the meantime, to keep up with The Trust Fund Kids, check out their social media down below to never miss a moment!

The Trust Fund Kids: Facebook

BLOOMER's Latest Release 'Last Star' Sure To Catch Your Ear

  Photography: Marie Machin

Photography: Marie Machin

BLOOMER have been killin' it in Baltimore since 2012, and now they're making some noise with their latest release, "Last Star." The track is a pure rock jam that'll definitely get you pumped up and into BLOOMER (if you aren't already, why aren't you).

With a release two weeks ago, BLOOMER are riding the high of a brand new track - and we are too. Down below we've got "Last Star" streaming for you to check out, so let us know what you think!

Let BLOOMER know what you think as well!

The track is a hard hitting, poignant sound that is easy to listen to, but also fun. BLOOMER definitey have something with this track, and we're looking forward to what they've got coming up next!

Until then, check out BLOOMER's social media links down below to never miss an update!

BLOOMER: Website

The Foxfires Share Brand New Music Video With Listeners

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New York indie favorites, The Foxfires, have been busy releasing new music in 2018 - and we couldn't be more hype about it.

With nearly five years of hard work under their belts, The Foxfires have recently shared a lighthearted, good spirited new music video for their track, "Don't Give Up." Following their mantra of feel good tunes, The Foxfires won't disappoint you with this one!

Check it out below!

With the help of good vibes and friends, The Foxfires have created a sweet hearted little music video for fans and listeners that speaks on both their talent as well as their fun, and easy going nature.

To keep up with The Foxfires, check out their social media down below!

The Foxfires: Facebook // Twitter // Website

Exclusive Premiere: Ernston Shares New Single "Simple!"

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We have the pleasure of announcing Ernston's brand-spanking-new single, "Simple!" which comes to us as a triumphant return for the New Jersey vets!

With help of other NJ friends like Chris Flannery (Save Face) on drums, as well as produced/mixed by Doug Gallo at AGL Sounds, and mastered by Adam Cichocki at Timber Studios. The comeback for Ernston includes members Errol Beutell- Guitars), Jimmy Fasulo (Vocals), and Ryan Hillsinger (Drums) - hopefully a call to action for the threesome for some new tunes and vibes.

"Simple!" is a goofy, power pop track that doesn't ever take itself too seriously. I mean how can you take yourself too seriously when your girl asks you to write her a song?

Check out the official lyric video down below!

With the excitement of a brand new single, Ernston aren't stopping there!

The three piece has two shows coming up, both of which are happening in their (and our) home state of NJ, so we'll give you those dates down below so there aren't any excuses! Aside from that, you should check out Ernston's social media so you'll never miss an update, and I'll include that down below for you as well!

Peep those show dates, check out that lyric video, and keep your ears & eyes peeled for what Ernston has up their sleeve!

Ernston Show Dates:
3/30: Union County Performing Arts Center - Rahway
4/14: Mt. Moon - New Brunswick

Ernston: Facebook // Twitter // Bandcamp // Spotify

VISTA Announces Launch 2018 Date

  Photographer: Acacia Evans

Photographer: Acacia Evans

VISTA has been exceptionally busy since their debut in 2017, and 2018 is shaping up to be quite similar for the alt rock group. With three months underway in 2018, VISTA was pleased to announce their participation in Launch Music Conference this Spring! Their set will fall on the first day of the conference, April 12th, on the Lanc City Square York College stage at 8:15 PM.

The band has been hinting that no new music will be dropping until later on this year, but they're riding high off of their success of tracks like "Allegiance" and "Long Live" which circulated on stations like Idobi Radio. The band also successfully headlined two tours, an impressive feat for the fast moving group!

To keep up with VISTA and what they've got going on, check out their social media down below!

VISTA: Facebook // Website

"In The Dark" Is The Latest From The Caracals

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With a stellar mixture of garage rock roots and indie sound, The Caracals are bringing their own fresh twist to the scene. With a beginning in Orange County, California, the new project is inspired by gritty, noisy bands like The Black Keys or The Last Shadow Puppets. Their latest release, "In The Dark" is a conceptual single with hints of surf rock and contemporary twists.

We have it streaming down below for you, and we couldn't be more excited about it! Check it out down below.

The moody, brooding single is the set up for a hopeful 2018 EP from The Caracals and we'll agree that we're hopeful too. According to the band, their mission is "...to craft exciting down-to-earth tracks that are filled to the brims with chunky guitar riffs, energetic vocals and steady rhythm sections with a retro feel."

You heard it here, so to keep up with the up and comers, check out their social media down below!

The Caracals: Facebook // Instagram

Idle Wave Share Brand New Track With Listeners

  Photographer: Liam Frank

Photographer: Liam Frank

"Alpern" is the latest from NJ natives, Idle Wave. The track, they say, "reminisces the days back in college meeting up and starting the band in the house we threw parties out of."

With that in mind, "Alpern" hits a lot of emotional buttons for listeners. Idle Wave are sure to coddle their fans and listeners, but never to much. I mean, we'll simplify it for you: we really freakin' love this song.

Check it out streaming below to formulate your own opinion!

With influences from 90's 'Dad Rock' like Weezer, or more contemporary bands like Sorority Noise, Idle Wave have carved their own way into the Asbury Park, NJ scene by bringing a fresh pop punk sound that is easy to listen to and connect with. With an impressive like count on Facebook, it may be surprising to hear that "Alpern" is the first official release from Idle Wave!

To keep up with the band, or to check out what they're up to, we've got their social media for you down below!

Idle Wave: Facebook

New Single From Foxanne To Knock Your Socks Off

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In anticipation of their upcoming EP release, Hafling, Foxanne is celebrating the new year with new music and we couldn't be happier! The Brooklyn 3-piece took inspiration from a night spent with someone not so worth spending time with - which we basically all can relate to.

"Whiskey and Strawberries" captures the essence of that feeling, and bottles it up for one heck of a listening experience. Lucky for you (and us) we've got it streaming below for you via Soundcloud!

Lead singer/songwriter and guitarist Foxanne is supported by synth player Michael J Harris and Julliard trained percussionist Andrew Funcheon. The band are regulars around the east coast, especially Philadelphia and New York City. With a sound like that can you blame them?

Of course we're excitingly awaiting Hafling, but until then, stream this bad boy and check out Foxanne's social media down below to never miss an update!

Foxanne: Instagram // Youtube

Exclusive Premiere: Serencia Shares 'I Touch Heaven'

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What kind of Valentine would we be if we weren't giving you a gift? Well, don't you worry, we didn't forget - and neither did Pennsylvania favorites, Serencia; because what better gift is there than the gift of music?

The 4 piece indie/folk band from Lancaster, PA is comprised of Derek (Vocals-Guitar), Lily (Cello), Hannah (Vocals), and Bryce (Guitar). Together, with AGL Sounds, Serencia made their most recent album Morning Blues, which released in November of 2017. Both Morning Blues & their first album, A Leap of Faith, A Violent Shove, are available for stream & download. 

However, we're not here to talk about that - as much fun as it is. We're here to exclusively bring you a Valentines Day dreamboat of a song. "I Touch Heaven" is Serencia's latest release, a tribute to Grandfather, Dick Hanna, and his original song "I Touch Heaven (With My Hand)" recorded in the 1980's. 

Check it out exclusively streaming below via Serencia's bandcamp & The Hook Journal and get the tissues ready!

The sweet, somber track is right in line with Serencia's current sound - a perfect addition to the discography and collection they're currently building. 

"This song is especially important to me, it is a song that my Great Grandpa wrote back in the 1980's and had pressed onto vinyl. I've always loved the song and wanted to honor his work by bringing it to a new generation. Lily (Eckman) and I originally recorded it on our first album A Leap of Faith, A Violent Shove, but since we added Bryce (Sadler) and Hannah (Hensely) and had such a great experience working with AGL Sounds on our new album Morning Blues, it felt like this was a great time to revisit this song as a full band interpretation," says Derek Paris Frantz of the revival track.

So, spend this Valentines Day with someone or something you love, put on "I Touch Heaven" and drink lots of water. Check out Serencia on their social media, and definitely check out their most recent album release Morning Blues if you dig this. Otherwise, as always, thanks for reading and make sure to catch up on their social media links to never miss a moment!

Serencia: Facebook

The Burns Share New Music Video With Listeners

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Straight out of New Jersey, The Burns have been hard at work since 2018 started!

With the recent release of their debut album, Splenderson, The Burns are celebrating with a brand new music video! "Wolves" is a bit of a teaser for listeners and fans, a pre-release for their upcoming EP expected out in June - and there might be a little personal surprise in there when you watch!

You can check out the music video streaming down below, so definitely do that!

"Wolves" is a rumbling track that builds into a fierce and emotional listen - The Burns make you want to feel things, and gosh darnit, we're feeling them! The band is celebrating their one year anniversary on March 2nd at The Saint in Asbury Park - so if you're in New Jersey you definitely want to check that out.

To keep up with The Burns, definitely check out the music video above, and then check out their social media to make sure you never miss an update! We'll be hosting the NJ band on February 23rd at our place in South Philly, so if you're around and you dig it, come check it out!

The Burns: Website // Spotify

Exclusive Premiere: Lazarus Wilde Teases Listeners With New Single

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The vulnerable, ever talented Lazarus Wilde has spent the new year preparing for their upcoming March release - an EP that explores the raw emotion of being, and one we're personally anticipating - but, in the meantime, Wilde has teased fans and listeners with a sneak peak of what's to come: a brand new single.

Exclusively on The Hook, we're premiering Lazarus Wilde's latest track "Angor Animi" for everyone to check out. We have a streaming video down below for you! The third release under Lazarus Wilde is anticipated release on March 1st, just a few weeks away. The Condition Of Human Dilemma will feature four tracks including "Angor Animi," and is sure to knock your socks clean off.

Check out the video below!

"I wanted to create a song that explored the feelings of someone going through an anxiety attack for the first time, i know when i myself had my first panic attack, i felt as though something was seriously wrong, in an extreme thought even possibly dying or having a heart attack. We as humans tend to internalize our emotions when things get hectic forgetting that sometimes we need to express our feelings in however way we see fit. This song was my approach in expressing a feeling that many of us experience often," says Wilde of the track. 

So, you heard it hear first, "Angor Animi" is the first track off of Lazarus Wilde's March 1st EP - so stay tuned, because if you dig this then you're gonna dig the whole damn thing. As always, social media links down below to keep up with everything that is Lazarus Wilde!

Lazarus Wilde: Facebook

 

New Single From Loner Funk Act Petrus Nordh

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One month into 2018 and Swedish musician Petrus Nordh is already onto their second single!

"Blank Piece of Paper" is the latest release, and according to Petrus Nordh, the musician is using a guitar tuning of his own invention, playing both guitar and bass at the same time. Later on adding vocals, keyboard and percussion. The "syncopated, latin tinged funk groove" is mainly influenced by D’Angelo, Charlie Hunter and Sly & The Family Stone while the lyrics deal with the creative process and realizing nothing will be done if you don’t just start.

Check it out below!

Keep up with this smooth roller by following their social media links down below!

Petrus Nordh: Instagram

Hound The Wolves Anticipate Album With New Music Video

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Camera Obscura is Hound The Wolves upcoming anticipated album, not due out until Valentines Day, the band has been sure to hype up listeners with a teaser - and you don't want to miss this!

Straight out of Portland, Oregon, Hound The Wolves have released a brand new track & accompanying music video! "If Lost In Mind" is a brooding, heavy rock outpouring of song. The music video is there to disorient you into the headspace Hound The Wolves want you in - so let's get lost in it together below!

The music video was entirely a DIY effort, with the premise, shooting and post-production from
their own skill, which is incredibly impressive! The video itself is going to leave you wanting more, and more is what will be coming within the next month from Hound The Wolves. Camera Obscura is on our to-do list so be sure to check back in February for our review!

If you're interested in learning more about our new found West Coast friends, check out their social media below to never miss an update!

Hound The Wolves: Facebook // Bandcamp

Secret Nudist Friends Start Off 2018 With 'Lima Beans'

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Secret Nudist Friends jump started their 2018 with a brand new music video to accompany their track "Lima Beans," and we can't share it enough with you!

One of the hardest working Philadelphia DIY bands encompasses all areas of DIY that we love, and their music video doesn't fall short in that area at all. With that do it yourself mentality, and sheer musicianship, it's not hard for Secret Nudist Friends to succeed - and we're here to share that with them!

Check out "Lima Beans" below!

Their fun loving nature and good vibes radiate out of this music video. Set in the infamous Tralfamadore, Secret Nudist Friends are playing to a host of artists (or maybe people who just like looking at it) and the video moves between images of the band playing (live!!!), newest member Missy, and spectators surrounded by Philadelphia basement aesthetic. 

Leave it to SNF to give us exactly what we want!

Keep up with Secret Nudist Friends in the future, the band is playing Johnny Brenda's on February 6th, so you can catch a live performance of "Lima Beans" and support a great band! Otherwise, check out their social media down below!

Secret Nudist Friends: Facebook // SoundCloud // Twitter // YouTube

Dominy Celebrate Album Release With New Music Video

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Philadelphia's own Dominy are a feel good, indie-rock/folk mashup that have a lot of good vibes to share - so, ya' know, we're taking advantage of it. Fresh off the high of their most recent album release, Wet Leather, Dominy continue to live up to their own hype with their most recent music video for track "Leather Jacket Song."

The band spent the summer of 2017 at Gradwell House Studios in Hadden Heights recording Wet Leather, and you're not going to want to miss it. The retro aesthetic, the feel good attitude, and the respectable, smooth music of Dominy make the music video for "Leather Jacket Song" one you should sit down and watch.

We even made it easy for you, streaming below!

If you're into this, then you should definitely check out the album streaming on Spotify! Dominy has a few shows coming up in February to look forward too, and otherwise they've entered 2018 with a positive start, and that's more than some of us!

To keep up with this Philly foursome, check out their social media down below to never miss an update!

Dominy: Website // Facebook